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Svalbard Issues - 2024


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Disputes - international

Norway-Russia: after 40 years of on-again, off-again negotiations, the two countries signed an agreement in September 2010, defining their maritime boundaries in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean; the border extends the countries’ land border northward beyond the islands in the Barents Sea and into the Arctic Ocean, but the exact distance northward was not specified; because the area is considered the high seas, the passage of naval and commercial vessels will be unaffected; once their legislatures ratify the agreement, both countries will have the green light for oil and natural gas exploration in their newly defined maritime areas; Russia objects to Norway’s establishment in 1977 of the Fishery Protection Zone around the Svalbard Islands, extending Norwegian sovereignty to the shelf around the archipelago; Svalbard is strategically important – as a gateway from the Berents Sea to the North Atlantic – and its waters provide rich fishing grounds

NOTE: The information regarding Svalbard on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Svalbard 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Svalbard 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

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